The remake of Riven, the sequel to the remake of Myst, is coming out later this month

Cyan Worlds announced today that the remake of Riven, the sequel to the remake of Myst, is set to launch on PC, Mac, and VR platforms on June 25. The updated version of the famed puzzle-adventure promises not just a technological do-over of the original game, but a "from the ground up" remake with new characters, "refreshed" puzzles, and an expanded storyline.

One of the biggest hooks in the Riven remake, like its predecessor, is the promise of complete freedom of movement. Where the original game had players clicking through a series of static images with light animated trappings, in the updated version you'll be able to look and walk around as you like. "Whether you’re a seasoned adventurer returning to Riven or a newcomer eager to explore Riven’s mysteries for the first time, this immersive and visually stunning world will captivate you," Cyan said.

The Myst games certainly do bring a lot of lore to the table, and captivation is always possible, but what they're really known for are the puzzles and Riven is no exception. While I powered through Myst over a single weekend (with the help of a friend) I found some of Riven's puzzles to be even more impenetrable and obtuse than those of its predecessor, and in the end I didn't come close to completing it. 

It doesn't sound like the remake is taking any steps to lighten that particular load, but it is launching into a very different world, one filled with easy access to step-by-step guides on countless YouTube channels and elsewhere. That means getting on with it will be much easier now than it was then—and may make some of that lore more accessible for people who aren't into throwing levers for three hours.

(All that said, for the real "how it was then" experience I'd urge you to limit your requests for help to this OG Riven guide from 1997 on GameFAQs. That's how we did it when I was your age and by god, we liked it!)

I think it's very cool to see the Myst games enjoying something of a renaissance in recent years. Myst was a divisive thing—the only people who like talking about it more than diehard fans are the even more deeply-committed haters. Interest in the series waned as technology advanced and Myst, bluntly, didn't. Uru: Ages Beyond Myst was Cyan's first real effort to drag the series into the future, and it didn't go especially well: The controls really sucked, which made movement dodgy and some of the puzzles difficult to interact with, and the decision to kill off a planned multiplayer mode was also disappointing.

I actually quite liked Uru despite its failings and would love to see Cyan take that one on next, but for now I'm just happy that "next" is a possibility. The remade Myst games are never going to achieve the lofty heights of the originals (Myst was the best-selling PC game of all time for ages and literally helped usher in a technological revolution) but I really like that people have the opportunity to see the series with fresh eyes, and are able to judge them on their own merits rather than relying on cranky oldsters for their thoughts. They're not going to seem as magical as they did 30 years ago, but I think we'll find they hold up quite well as narrative adventures in their own right.

Riven will be available for PC on Steam and GOG, and for Macs on the Mac App Store. The VR version will be supported on the Meta Quest 2 and Quest 3 headsets.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.